Kotsay, Moyer face off one more time

Kotsay, Moyer face off one more time

Kotsay, Moyer face off one more time
DENVER -- Tuesday's tilt between the Padres and Rockies featured a pair of veterans with a fair amount of familiarity with each other. San Diego's Mark Kotsay, 36, got his first start of the season after coming off the disabled list with a right calf strain, and faced 49-year-old southpaw Jamie Moyer.

"We have a history together," Kotsay said. "Our history goes back. We haven't seen each other probably since 2006. There's no explanation [for my success off him]."

To say that Kotsay has "history" with Moyer is like saying the Harlem Globetrotters have history with the Washington Generals. Kotsay has owned Moyer over the course of their careers, and his .583 (21-for-36) career average against the left-hander is the highest of anyone who's faced Moyer at least 30 times. The players trailing Kotsay give an indication of Moyer's longevity, with Mookie Wilson (.438), Nomar Garciaparra (.417), Andres Galarraga (.415), Tim Raines (.395) and Bernie Williams (.391) among the contenders.

"Lifetime numbers make sense," manager Bud Black said before Kotsay went 2-for-3 against the lefty from the two-hole in Tuesday's lineup. "His last at-bat against him was a number of years ago, but still there's a history. And you know what? Both guys know it. That lends our guy a great deal of confidence. I know from the other side, Jamie knows it, too."

Moyer is the second oldest pitcher to start a Major League game, behind 59-year-old Satchell Paige in 1965, and with a career 268-206 record following the Rockies' 5-3 win, he's the oldest pitcher to win a Major League game.

"I knew [Moyer] at a point in his career when a lot of people were writing him off," Black said. "It almost seems like 20 years later, he's as good as he ever was.

"When a guy like Jamie Moyer walks through the clubhouse doors, the other guys notice and they feel better about their team because of what he represents in this game and his work ethic and everything that goes along with being a guy who's been able to pitch as long as he has."

Kotsay serves as a worthy adversary, and he made an impact his first day back Monday, despite not getting in the game. He spoke up at a hitters meeting and encouraged the players to relax at the plate and reclaim their swagger.

"Kots is very vocal in and around the dugout and in the clubhouse," Black said. "He's another coach on the field basically. He sends messages to players on a regular basis that put an exclamation mark on some of the things we say as coaches. He does a great job on a couple different fronts of keeping guys loose, but keeping guys focused. And he does it from a teammate perspective, which I think is always good."